SICK is one of the world’s leading producers of sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications. The company, founded in 1946 and with almost 50 international and national subsidiaries, numerous representatives and several participations is a technology and market leader in factory, logistics and process automation. SICK employs more than 4,900 employees worldwide and achieved sales of more than EUR 700 million in 2010.
Factory automation includes products and solutions for automation and safety technology. The control of production processes and quality assurance are the most important areas of use of the non-contact sensors for automation technology. The products, complete solutions and services of the Industrial Safety Systems Division ensure effective accident prevention and personal protection in order to reliably rule out risks to employees from hazardous machines.
In the logistics automation segment, SICK offers solutions for the automatic identification of bar codes and 2D codes, as well as for the identification of objects in logistical system through the use of RFID systems. This application segment also includes the detection of height, shape and volume with laser measurement systems that can be calibrated if necessary.
As SICK is one of the leading companies in the technology field of Laserscanners, SICK is always trying to broaden the application range beyond the classical industrial automation solutions. Laserscanners are therefore also used in safety applications and logistics automation.
SICK will coordinate the PAN-Robots project and lead work packages 1, 3 and 4. In addition SICK will mainly focus on the development of laser scanner related algorithms and functionality, such as: mapping, localization and object tracking & classification. SICK will also be in charge of the organization and preparation of the final event, demonstrating the project’s results.
In the 6th Framework IBEO as a subsidiary of SICK was partner in several IP’s and STREP’s. In IP PReVENT IBEO was subproject leader of INTERSAFE and partner in COMPOSE, APALACI and PROFUSION 2. In addition IBEO contributed to IP SAFESPOT, FRICTION, MYMOSA and PISa. In FP7 IBEO/SICK contributed to IP HAVE-IT, eVALUE and SAFERIDER and was the coordinator of the STREP INTERSAFE-2 and still is for MiniFaros.
Kay Fuerstenberg – Dr. Fuerstenberg was born in 1970. During his PhD he has focused on human safety and object recognition for safety and comfort applications using Laserscanners. From 1999 to 2009 Mr. Fuerstenberg was with IBEO and responsible for the research department and intellectual property of IBEO. He was technical leader in several European research projects like IP PReVENT, PISa, IP SAFESPOT and MYMOSA. Mr. Fuerstenberg was coordinator of INTERSAFE and the STREP INTERSAFE-2 and MiniFaros which ended on Dec. 2012.
Christoph Reinke – Dr. Reinke was born in 1980. He graduated in computer science at the University of Luebeck in 2007 and completed his PhD on service migration and transaction processing in wireless sensor networks in 2011. Since 2011 he is with the research department of the SICK AG and focusing on localization and mapping algorithms of mobile robots.
Algorithm development experts: Patric Beinschob, Markus Boehning.
ELETTRIC 80 S.p.A.
E80 is the worldwide market leader of AGV production with a market share of 400 vehicles produced and installed in 2010 out of 1,500 accounted for the global market. Since its inception in 1980, Elettric 80 has been at the forefront of change in the global end-of-line automation and automatic warehouse environments. When it launched Freeway, a highly flexible system for automatic material handling in factories, in the mid 1990’s, it not only set a new industry standard but provided a vision as to how goods should be managed at the end-of-the-line. Currently, Elettric 80 has approximately 350 employees with an annual turnover that has steadily increased in the latter years to reach € 90 mln in 2010. It’s production facilities and head offices are located in Viano (Italy). Subsidiaries are located in Chicago USA, Gothenburg Sweden, London UK, Krakow Poland and Melbourne Australia.
During their long time experience, Elettric 80 team members gained the ability to point out and solve problems in several applications in more and more demanding industrial plants. In particular, many warehouse layouts have been encountered and many traffic problems have been solved in real installations of Freeway system. Elettric 80 is an high-tech company, with a 5% of technicians fully engaged in R&D activities.. Elettric 80 constantly works on increasing autonomy and flexibility, paying a great attention to investments on Research and Development, most of them carried on in partnership with University and Research Centres.
E80 will be leader of WP 7 (implementation and demonstration), and will support WP 6 (System development) and WP 7 (test and validation). Also dissemination and exploitation (in particular participation to fairs), user needs requirements, specification and Architecture will be supported.
Elettric E80 is participating to the European Echord Project (Grant Agreement 231143) in the TRAFCON experiment, and also in the CROW (Coordination of AGVs in Automatic Warehouses) The latter project has been selected as finalist of the 2010 EURON/EUROP Technology Transfer Award. Elettric 80 is also the leader of a Emilia Romagna regional project DIRO’ (the regional district of mobile robotics), with University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, University of Bologna and other 5 companies. Elettric 80 is also a third party partner in the European project CHAT.
Marco Casarini graduated in Electronic Engineering at the University of Bologna in 1997. He started working at Elettric80 in 1998 and became Technical Department Director in 2007.
Francesco De Mola, R&D Engineer. He received his degree in Computer Engineering from University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in 2005 and his Ph.D degree in ICT from University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in 2008. Since 2008 he’s working in Elettric 80 Research & Development team.
Domenico Di Terlizzi, R&D Engineer. He received his degree in Electrical Engineering from Politecnico di Torino in 1994. Since 1996 he’s working in Elettric 80 Research & Development team.
Davide Ronzoni, R&D Engineer. He received his degree in Mechatronic Engineering from University of Modena and Reggio Emilia 2009. He worked as temporary researcher at University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in a project on mobile robot SLAM. Since 2010 he’s in R&D.
UNIVERSITA' DEGLI STUDI DI MODENA E REGGIO EMILIA
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia is an Italian University organized on a ”site network” model embracing the cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia, in close cooperation with surrounding economical clusters (more than 300 companies, most of them in the area of Mechatronics, logistic and automotive in one of the richest economic area in Italy). UNIMORE will participate to the project through the research group of Automation, Robotics and System Control Lab (ARSControl, www.arscontrol.unimore.it) of the Department of Sciences and Methods of Engineering, (DISMI). Arscontrol is a research group who is strongly committed to fundamental and applied researches on robotics and automation. Arscontrol research staff includes 14 persons who are working in several research projects in cooperation with companies and research institutes, in particular in the area of mobile robotics, automation and logistics.
UNIMORE will lead WP2 (Dissemination) and WP 6 (system development), and it will support WP 4, WP 3 and WP 7 and WP 8.
DISMI has been participating in 24 FP6 and FP7 projects (among them SAFERIDER, participating with SICK and TRAFCON, participating with E80). ArsControl directly participates to the European Robotics Network (EURON, www.euron.org), the community of academic and industrial groups in Europe. Arscontrol is coordinating a regional project (DIRO’, “Mobile Robot Technological District”, with 2 academic and 5 industrial partners), with a budget of 2 Million Euro, and it is participating to the Echord Project (Grant Agreement 231143) by coordinating the TRAFCON experiment, it is also leading the ERA-NET project STRATOS and it is a partner in the project UNIFARM and a third party partner in ISUR project. The group participated in the CROW (Coordination of AGVs in Automatic Warehouses) project which has been selected as finalist of the 2010 EURON/EUROP Technology Transfer Award.
Cesare Fantuzzi is full professor in Industrial Automation. He is associate editor of Elsevier’s’ Int. J. on Mechatronics. He is the coordinator of the regional District of Mobile Robotics (DIRO’). He coordinated several research projects either funded by private enterprises and public bodies.
Cristian Secchi is Assistant Professor of Robotics at the School or Engineering of Reggio Emilia (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia). In 2006 he has been finalists for the Euron Georges Giralt PhD Award for the best PhD thesis in Europe in robotics. He has been Associate Editor of the Robotics and Automation Magazine in the period 2005-2008 and he is co-chair of the Technical Committee on Telerobotics of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society since 2007. His main research interests are mobile robot control.
Andrea Grassi is currently Associate Professor in Manufacturing Systems Design and Management at the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. His research activity is mainly focused on the development of heuristic and mathematical models for the design and management of manufacturing and logistics, with a particular focus on automated lines design and on AGV systems design and management.
TEKNOLOGIAN TUTKIMUSKESKUS VTT
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a government organisation established in 1942. With its staff of 3 200 employees VTT’s mission is to produce research services that enhance the international competitiveness of companies, society and other customers at the most important stages of their innovation process. VTT’s key technology fields include: Applied materials, Bioand chemical processes, Energy, ICT Industrial systems, Micro-technologies and electronics, Services and the built environment, and Business and Innovation Research. In order to allow VTT to carry out the high-risk strategic research necessary to generate the knowledge and know-how required for fulfilling its public mandate, it receives substantial funding directly from the Finnish government. This funding amounts to approximately one third of VTT’s total income. In the past 20 years, VTT has participated in more than 1000 European R&D Framework Program projects, within various thematic programs.
VTT’s main contribution shall be focused on the optical design, realization and testing of an omnidirectional lens and its mounting mechanics. These enable the assembly of a stereovision sensor together with Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. VTT is a leader of WP5 as well.
VTT has a long experience on the design and development of optical instruments for industrial, consumer and research applications. VTT has special expertise on custom optics design and how to combine that with mechanics and electronics in order to produce demonstrators and prototypes. VTT has brought its expertise of optics and mechanics into the Minifaros EU-project.
Uula Kantojärvi – Mr. Kantojärvi, M.Sc. (tech), Research Scientist, graduated from Helsinki University of Technology in 2006. His studying topics were electronics, space technology and micro- and nano-systems. Mr. Kantojärvi has worked at VTT since 2004 and he has specialized in system design, simulation and characterization of optical spectroscopic instruments. He has also led several national projects related to optical instruments and absolute calibration systems, and worked in an EU-funded project as a work package manager.
Mika Aikio – Mr. Aikio, M.Sc., Research Scientist, specialized in optical design of free-form and imaging optics. He has graduated from Oulu University; Department of Physics in 2006. He has developed software for optimization of free-form optical surfaces. He is the designer of the new kind of omni-directional plastic lens developed in previous research activities of VTT. He has been responsible of many optical and opto-mechanical development tasks in sensor development contracts for process and quality control measurements, industrial laser-tooling heads, military vision systems, scientific research instruments.
UNIVERSITATEA TEHNICA CLUJ - NAPOCA
The Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (TU-CN) is one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Romania and dates back to 1920. Study programs in Automation and in Computer Science were started since 1977. Since its birth, the Faculty of Automation and Computer Science has earned an international reputation for its high academic standards and excellence in research. At present, the faculty has over 120 academic staff organized in three departments (Computer Science, Control Engineering and Mathematics), three bachelor programs, eight master programs and two PhD programs in which study about 2000 students. The Computer Science Department approaches a wide range of research topics which addresses fundamental issues in Computer Science and Information Technology like as design and analysis of algorithms, data communications, artificial vision and image processing, distributed systems. The Department is involved in national and international research grants and contracts in cooperation with other universities or industrial partners.
Development of a real-time omnidirectional stereo camera software system based on the omnidirectional stereo cameras. Development of environment perception functions based on omnidirectional stereo camera.
The group members through their involvement in international projects have reached expertise in the following fields: Stereo vision and Image Processing, Driving assistance applications design, implementation and evaluation, Experimental data acquisition, management and analyses including data mining, Hardware and software architectures design, implementation and evaluation, Wired and wire-less communication systems design and evaluation, Sensors design, implementation and evaluation, sensor fusion, environment modeling.
Some significant projects are: Cooperative Intersection Safety – INTERSAFE -2 (FP7 project), Dense STEREO-Based Object Tracking and CLASSification for Pre-Crash-Applications – STEREOCLASS (funded by VW AG), DESBOR – DEnse Stereo-Based Object Recognition system for automatic cruise control (ACC) in urban traffic environments”, funded by VW AG.
Sergiu Nedevschi – 1975: Diploma degree in Electrical Engineering from Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, 1993: PhD degree in Electrical Engineering in the same university. In 1998 he was appointed Professor in Computer Science and he founded the Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Research Laboratory at the TUCN. He was the Head of Computer Science Department between 2000 and 2004, and is now the Dean of Faculty of Automation and Computer Science. His research interests include image processing, pattern recognition, computer vision, stereovision, intelligent vehicles and driving assistance systems, experimental data acquisition, management and analysis including data mining. Prof Nedevschi is the manager of several national and international projects. He has published multiple papers in refereed conferences and journals in the field of intelligent transportation systems, pattern recognition, medical image processing.
Computer Science experts: Tiberiu Marita, Radu Danescu, Florin Oniga, Andrei Vatavu, Cosmin Pantilie, Marius Drulea.
COMPANIA CASTELLANA DE BEBIDAS GASEOSAS S.A
CAS is a Spanish owned bottling company, associated to the Coca-Cola group. CAS is involved in manufacturing, distribution and sales of the whole portfolio of Coca-Cola products in the center of Spain. From Fuenlabrada factory CAS yearly produces and delivers over 650.000.000 liters of 260 different products; since portfolio changes and demand variations are frequent, this production and distribution centre requires high flexibility either for production and logistics.
Most of the technological improvements were usually oriented to increase capacity and flexibility of the 11 production lines that are currently installed in this Coca-Cola factory (one of the biggest in Europe). High levels of production flexibility have already been achieved. Besides that, further improvements in the logistics area improve the efficiency of the manufacturing system, through the elimination of non-value-added movements, either for the incoming raw materials, or for the shipping of final products.
During the last 4 years, large investments have been made to increase the efficiency of the logistic area. This is one of the strategies CAS implemented, in order to give the customers the best service level at the minimum cost. Historically, logistics resources were dimensioned to serve the peaks: as a result of that, a lot of resources were usually under-occupied.
Intensive usage of AGVs to handle incoming raw materials and final products gave CAS the opportunity of increasing the service level while lowering the costs. One of the main advantages of this kind of automatic system comes from the fact that, due to the flexibility of the AGV system, they can be dimensioned for the average task requirements, thus reducing underoccupancy. Furthermore, CAS makes use of automatic systems to reallocate products between different warehouses, during low occupied time. CAS is in a continuous learning process, together with Elettric 80, evaluating the best kind of use of this system that is critical for the full supply chain management, because everything is connected through this automatic system in Fuenlabrada plant. Nowadays, in CAS, 45 AGVs are working in different plant areas
CAS will play the role of end user, in order to support the PAN–Robots system design specification, and to provide the location for the final test and project demonstration. CAS will lead the WP 8 (test and validation) and will provide support to WP3 (user requirements) and WP 7 (implementation and demonstration).
CAS has no previous experience in EC funded research projects.
Jose Antonio Estefania, Engineering Department Manager
As Engineering Department Manager, he leads the activities of Engineering teams, at the development and implementation of the automatic systems employed in CAS.
Benjamin Ramos, Logistics Engineer
As Logistic Engineer, his work aims at the development and implementation of solutions to increase the efficiency of the Logistic system of CAS.
Consortium as a whole
PAN-Robots consortium consists of 6 partners of 5 European countries, selected due to their leading role in European AGV industry and research and in many respects global leadership.
The consortium is well balanced between very successful and experienced industry partners and highly innovative and skilled research institutes.
The business of the industrial partners is highly technology driven and thus they are well aware about the management of novel technologies and how to create business and leadership with cutting-edge technology.
The consortium incorporates (i) the inventive power to create highly innovative solutions for advanced AGVs and the challenging complexity of mixed traffic in modern factory logistics and (ii) the experience of the needs to introduce complex systems into traditional markets. These are the most important prerequisites to boost the AGV market penetration in the factory of the future.
Looking at PAN-Robots objectives the main focus is on highly automated AGVs and underlying technologies such as communication, perception, localization, navigation and HMI. All the needs are well re
presented, since PAN-Robots combines expertise from AGV OEMs, sensor suppliers, manufacturing experts and academic research successfully active in the field. In addition, most of the partners gained experience in former European and national funded research projects, which will enable a productive and positive working atmosphere.
The project will further strengthen the competitiveness of and collaboration between industrial companies and research institutes in the creation of green, efficient and safe AGV functionalities.
Table lists the required skills and expertise needed and the partners fulfilling the needed partner mix requirements.